The International Underwriting Association (IUA) has created a working party to identify the problems new technology can cause to reinsurers.

Last week a cyber-liability team was created after growing concerns at the difficulties related to e-commerce.

The group will aim to make the company market more aware of the dangers, and help them insure against them.

Speaking at the Monte Carlo Rendez-Vous, IUA chief executive Marie-Louise Rossi said: "It seems to be an area for underwriters to gain more knowledge and do some research. It seems an area of emerging risk and insurers must understand it."

The working party will examine issues including computer viruses, hacking and breach of data protection. It aims to discover how technology affects reinsurers and what each company is doing to protect itself.

The group will also look into why organisations insure e-commerce risks. It hopes to identify the role of software vendors and examine their licences.

"If you commit libel in an ordinary publication it can spread quite far and fast depending on the circulation," explained Rossi. "But if you can do it by a click and using e-commerce, it has the potential to magnify existing risks and liabilities in ways which are not fully understood. The purpose of commissioning research and setting up the working party is to understand those risks better."